This 18 August 2015 video from Britain is called Silent peers claim thousands in expenses in UK Lords.
By Lamiat Sabin in Britain:
Lords pocket 360,000 despite not voting once
Monday 17th August 2015
Electoral Reform Society exposes growing corruption of unelected chamber
SIXTY-TWO unelected peers claimed £360,000 in pay and expenses just for attending but not voting in Parliament over the last five years, according to research published yesterday.
Just 10 of those members were responsible for claiming £236,000 between them, according to a report by the Electoral Reform Society (ERS), which campaigns for reform of the Lords.
Peers who did not vote in the last parliamentary session claimed a total of more than £100,000, said the report, entitled House of Lords: Fact vs Fiction.
Each of the current 781 peers is able to claim £300 tax free for each sitting day in Westminster as well as limited travel expenses. The Tories dominate the upper house of Parliament, with 226 members, while Labour has 212 and the Lib Dems 101.
Four peers have been convicted of criminal offences — perjurer Jeffrey Archer, expense cheats Paul White and John Taylor, and arsonist Mike Watson — but they are allowed to retain their life peerages and continue scrutinising and shaping laws.
More than a third of peers previously worked in politics, compared to less than 1 per cent of the public, prompting ERS deputy chief executive Darren Hughes to remark that the so-called “chamber of experts” is more a “chamber of professional politicians.”
Only two peers are under the age of 40, women make up just 24 per cent of the Lords and almost half of the total membership live in London or the south-east, he continued.
Just 1 per cent came from a manual or skilled labour background.
The Lords is “shockingly out of date and unrepresentative” and “growing out of control,” ERS warned amid reports that Prime Minister David Cameron is to appoint 50 more peers to “rebalance” numbers.
His plans could cost the taxpayer at least £1.3million a year in fees and perks, it has been estimated.
The attendance rate of the 179 non-party crossbenchers was lower than that of those linked to parties, said ERS.
Mr Hughes continued: “We have shown that, far from being a bastion of independence, non-partisan crossbench peers turn up far less frequently than party-political peers.
“And it’s those peers who vote as a bloc, with Labour voting against the last coalition government, Conservative peers voting against the last Labour government nearly 100 per cent of the time.”
Three of the offenders
RICHARD CHARTRES Bishop of London
Despite being the third-highest bishop in the Church of England, the Right Reverend Richard failed to poll even once in a total of 60 possible votes.
ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER Baron Lloyd-Webber (Tory)
The musical theatre maestro was knighted in 1992 and made a peer in 1997, but 18 years later the high life doesn’t seem to appeal as much as it used to. Zero votes out of 60.
RABBI Jonathan Sacks Baron Sacks (Crossbench)
A bit of a mixed bag, the former head of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth opposed same-sex marriage, but is also known for inter-faith dialogue. Pity he turned out to not one of 60 votes.
PEERS who have not spoken in the House of Lords this year have claimed more than a million pounds in expenses, the Electoral Reform Society revealed yesterday. The 64 lords and ladies pocketed £1,262,670 in public money for turning up to Parliament, but failed to take part in any debates: here.
Lord Janner dead: Former Labour peer found unfit to stand trial for alleged child sex abuse dies aged 87: here.